General Characteristics
 - Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), a cereal grain derived from an annual grass is the fourth most important cereal crop in the world after rice, wheat and maize.
 - Barley is very adaptable and is a widely grown crop. It is cultivated as a summer crop  in temperate areas and as a winter crop in tropical areas. Barley has a short growing season and is also relatively drought tolerant. However, it is a tender grain and care has to be taken in all stages of its growth and harvest.
 - Barley is used as livestock feed, human food and barley malt. While, historically, livestock consumed most of barley produced globally, this is no more the case now. Currently food and industrial consumption of barley is more prominent.
 - Barley along with corn/maize, sorghum, oats, pearl millet, finger millet  and other minor millets are grouped together as coarse cereals.